According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota workforce is 2.8 million strong as of July 2013. Minnesotaworks.net held a career fair in November 2012 where community members were able to have their personal resumes critiqued to better prepare them for the job search (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota DEED Facebook page).
Employers relocating to Minnesota often tell DEED’s Business and Community Development representatives that the quality of the workforce is one of the driving factors. But what does quality mean?
Does equality equate with educational attainment? Labor force participation rate? The hard-to quantify — yet frequently heard – tireless work ethic? Rate of absenteeism? The quality of the workforce likely means different things to different employers.
Some look to the state’s labor market participation rate as an indicator that Minnesotans are hard working. We know Minnesota’s labor force participation rate, which measures the proportion of the population age 16 and older that is employed or actively looking for work, is 70.3 percent, the third-highest labor force participation rate nationwide. The U.S rate is 63.7 percent.
Governor Dayton gives remarks at Minneapolis City Hall on the eve of Freedom to Marry Day
Governor Mark Dayton issued a proclamation designating August 1, 2013, to be ‘Freedom to Marry Day’ in Minnesota.
"On May 14, 2013, I was honored and proud to sign the Freedom to Marry bill into law on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol. On August 1, 2013, same-sex couples shall be free to marry in the State of Minnesota, and this event will be celebrated at the stroke of midnight with marriages across our great state" said Governor Dayton.
"Our nation’s founding principle was stated more than 237 years ago in the Declaration of Independence: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.'
That principle was later embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution: 'No State shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'
These deeply held American ideals of liberty and justice must assuredly protect the freedom for every person to marry the person they love.
Throughout its history, some of our country’s most important progress has been to extend equal rights and protections to everyone. And while that progress has often been difficult and initially divisive, it has always been the next step forward to fulfilling our country’s promise to every American."
On May 14, 2013, Governor Dayton signed into law House File 1054/Senate File 925, granting all Minnesotans the freedom to marry. This week, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights released a toolkit on how Minnesota’s new law legalizing same-sex marriage impacts people, communities, businesses and religious entities.
Beginning August 1, two individuals of the same gender can become lawfully wed in Minnesota. “This is a milestone for equal rights for all Minnesotans,” said Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey. “Minnesota’s same-sex marriage law seeks to strike a delicate balance in recognizing individual liberty while respecting the Nation’s long standing tradition of separating church and state.”
Governor Dayton issued a proclamation, officially declaring that June 2013 is Pride Month in the State of Minnesota. Residents and visitors are encouraged to participate in the numerous Pride Month activities across Minnesota, and support the ongoing efforts leading Minnesota toward full LGBT equality.
Governor Dayton is joined by legislators and constituents in a mock signing for 'Ban the Box' legislation
As Gov. Mark Dayton ceremonially signed a bill expanding the "Ban the Box" law to private employers today, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights is providing a toolkit on the requirements of the new law, which goes into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
"This is a significant piece of legislation," said Commissioner of Human Rights Kevin Lindsey. "Ninety-two million Americans currently have either an arrest or a criminal conviction in their past. This law offers the vast majority of individuals with a non-violent criminal record a second chance at an opportunity for employment to better their lives.”
The new law requires private employers to wait until a job applicant has been selected for an interview, or a conditional offer of employment has been extended, before asking a job applicant about criminal records or conducting a criminal background check. This requirement has applied to public employers since 2009.
Existing laws will continue to protect vulnerable adults and children from people with violent or sexual criminal histories. Additionally, employers may exclude applicants if a crime is relevant to the position's job duties.
Yesterday, thousands of Minnesotans joined the Governor Dayton at the State Capitol as he signed the Freedom to Marry bill. We gathered some of our favorite tweets from the day to share on our blog. Thank you to everyone who joined the Governor and legislators yesterday at the Capitol and on Twitter on this historic day! Follow Governor Dayton on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.
Today, Governor Mark Dayton, joined by Representative Karen Clark, Senator Scott Dibble, Senator Tom Bakk, Representative Paul Thissen, and thousands of supporters, signed HF 1054/SF 925 into law, granting all Minnesotans the freedom to marry.
Governor Dayton's Remarks as Prepared for Delivery:
What a difference a year and an election make in Minnesota! Last year, there were concerns that marriage equality would be banned forever. Now, my signature will make it legal in two and one-half months.
First and foremost, I want to thank the people of Minnesota, who voted last year to defeat a very destructive Constitutional Amendment, and also to elect courageous legislators, who would support this monumental social advance.
I want to thank the activists, all of you here tonight and the thousands more throughout our state, who worked so long and so hard to win this extraordinary victory.
At the risk of leaving out many deserving leaders, special recognition should go to Richard Carlbom, who brilliantly masterminded last year’s and this year’s campaigns.
Congratulations to the chief authors, Representative Karen Clark and Senator Scott Dibble, who shepherded this bill along an often difficult path – and who have now succeeded, to the amazement of some and the delight of many.
Thank you to the House and Senate leaders: Speaker Paul Thissen, Majority Leader Tom Bakk, Majority Leader Erin Murphy, and Asst. Majority Leader Katie Sieben for supporting and guiding this legislation.
And I want to express my utmost admiration to the Republican and Democratic legislators, who voted for this bill. Many of them are standing behind me, and they deserve to hear our gratitude.
Last week, I suggested that you legislators read John F. Kennedy’s book: Profiles in Courage. Instead, you wrote its latest chapter.
By your political courage, you join that pantheon of exceptional leaders, who did something extraordinary – you changed the course of history for our state and our nation.
Our country’s founding principle was stated 237 years ago in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
That principle was later embodied in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Unfortunately, our nation’s founding fathers had bold aspirations, but a bad implementation. They wrongly denied those equal rights and protections to women, African-Americans, and other racial minorities.
They also left out GLBT men and women, if you believe, as I do, that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness certainly include the right to marry the person you love.
Since then, our country’s most important progress has been to extend those equal rights and protections to everyone. That progress has often been difficult, controversial, and initially divisive. However, it has always been the next step ahead to fulfilling this country’s promise to every American.
It is now my honor to sign into law this next step for the State of Minnesota to fulfill its promise to every Minnesotan.
Commissioner Jesson Speaking at "Together, We Work" Conference
Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson spoke Dec. 5 k at “Together, We Work,” the first conference hosted by Minnesota APSE (Association of People Supporting Employment First) and Pathways to Employment.
The two-day event brought together people with disabilities, employers, supported employment service providers and advocates to make connections and discover ways to increase employment opportunities even in times of scarce resources.
New partnerships are making a home of their own possible for hundreds of Minnesota citizens with disabilities- as over 500 people since 2009 have said welcome home to the new possibilities of independent living.
These new possibilities have been created through the Housing Access Services (HAS), which is a partnership of The Arc of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. For many adults with disabilities, living at home or living in a group home is no longer the right fit. They desire the same independent lifestyles that many take for granted. HAS helps adults with disabilities navigate many of the logistical problems with reaching independence, such as finding housing, filling out paperwork and financial documents, moving in, and finding access to jobs and transportation.
Photo credit: Flickr user Taber Andrew Bain
The Minnesota Department of Commerce is working with U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison to stop predatory lending. Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and Congressman Ellison are holding a special Town Hall Forum on Predatory Lending on August 8 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Neighborhood Hub in North Minneapolis. Commissioner Rothman and Congressman Ellison want to hear your stories about how predatory lending and foreclosure have affected your community so we can stop these destructive practices. All residents of North Minneapolis are invited to attend.
Predatory lending often targets low-income consumers, causing financial hardship in Minnesota neighborhoods. Scam artists and predatory lenders take advantage of consumers from all walks of life, causing foreclosures and financial hardship in our communities. In recent years, foreclosure and loan modification scams have severely harmed North Minneapolis neighborhoods.
According to the Department of Commerce, nearly 136,000 Minnesota homes have gone into foreclosure in the last seven years. That adds up to almost $13 billion in home equity lost in Minnesota alone since 2005. If your neighbor or someone down the street goes into foreclosure, the average loss in value to your home is roughly $8,500.
Governor Dayton speaks at the 2012 Disabilities Day Rally in the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda.
The Partners in Policymaking Program recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary, marking a quarter century of advocacy, education, and inspiration for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
Since 1987, the program – led by the Department of Administration’s Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC), has provided leadership training for parents of children with developmental disabilities and adults with disabilities. By helping these individuals self-advocate and form relationships with elected officials and policymakers, the program empowers them to positively shape the policies and services that impact their lives.